NMEC 15 ROUNDUP

◆ Coun­ter­feit – plasma torch con­sum­ables ◆ Warn­ing on tow bar cor­ro­sion ◆ End of first chap­ter of in­dus­trial ro­bot era

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

The Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing So­ci­ety of NZ’s de­ci­sion to take the SKF Na­tional Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing Con­fer­ence to Hamil­ton’s Claude­lands Show­grounds has proved a suc­cess for del­e­gates and ex­hibitors alike. Feed­back from the 50 ex­hibitors and 200 to­tal at­ten­dees at the Novem­ber event ranged from “Awe­some!” to “We will be back next year!”

The de­ci­sion to step the con­fer­ence up to the next level was not taken lightly, re­quir­ing a sig­nif­i­cant com­mit­ment in cost and re­sources as well as fur­ther evo­lu­tion of the man­age­ment struc­tures. Ac­cord­ing to Event Di­rec­tor Craig Car­lyle, “When you are stand­ing still, you are go­ing back­wards. If we want to strive to de­liver the best net­work­ing event for main­te­nance en­gi­neers, we need to de­liver more for them to take in, work harder to in­spire them and con­tinue to en­sure that cost is never a bar­rier to par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

At MESNZ com­mit­tee level the non-profit so­ci­ety had to con­sider how the con­fer­ence fits in with its ob­jec­tives and ac­tiv­i­ties, all aligned with net­work­ing main­te­nance en­gi­neers to­gether to learn and lev­er­age from their col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. “MESNZ’s com­mit­ment to the Na­tional Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing Con­fer­ence is a long term view which in­cluded un­der­writ­ing the first year at this world class venue. Ma­jor sup­port­ers SKF un­der­stand what MESNZ is try­ing to achieve and stepped up to the plate with fund­ing for not only the Na­tional Con­fer­ence, but also the Net­work Evening Se­ries,” Car­lyle added.

From the very first view of the new Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall jam­packed with en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions ga­lore, to the pre-con­fer­ence ac­tiv­i­ties and the con­fer­ence it­self, the MESNZ team pro­vided an in­ter­na­tional qual­ity event with­out los­ing the per­sonal Kiwi touch that en­gi­neers value. The show kicked off even be­fore most del­e­gates had ar­rived, with a bevy of pre-con­fer­ence ac­tiv­i­ties. The con­tigu­ous Con­fer­ence Train­ing Vil­lage hosted ses­sions on health and safety man­age­ment and en­gi­neer­ing ma­te­ri­als be­fore the free Pub­lic Trade Expo opened its doors for a short af­ter­noon ses­sion. This op­por­tu­nity for the gen­eral pub­lic to view the Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall was well sup­ported this year with many ex­hibitors, grab­bing the op­por­tu­nity to in­vite their lo­cal cus­tomers.

With the Pub­lic Trade Expo in full swing, con­fer­ence del­e­gates who had ar­rived early for the main event were bussed to ABB’s Hamil­ton ser­vice fa­cil­ity. This is the se­cond time ABB has opened its doors to MESNZ and the op­por­tu­nity proved just as pop­u­lar the se­cond time judg­ing from the feed­back.

The trav­ellers ar­rived back just in time for the pre-con­fer­ence “Ice-breaker” where the Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall doors are closed to the pub­lic and the drinks trol­ley fol­lows the crowd around as each ex­hibitor in­tro­duces him­self. This light-hearted event helped to set­tle ev­ery­one in and set the tone for the fol­low­ing two days of in­ten­sive net­work­ing.

The Na­tional Main­te­nance Con­fer­ence proper be­gan with an in­tro­duc­tion from Craig Car­lyle, who rounded out on the past years de­vel­op­ments and im­plored the del­e­gates to look, learn, lis­ten and take the in­spi­ra­tion back to their work­places.

The con­fer­ence pa­pers stretched over two days cov­er­ing top­ics rel­e­vant to main­te­nance man­age­ment and en­gi­neer­ing. From cor­ro­sion and steam retic­u­la­tion to deal­ing with coun­ter­feit ma­te­ri­als and shut­down plan­ning, a wide raft of top­ics re­quested by pop­u­lar de­mand were ad­dressed by in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal ex­perts. The di­a­logue on some top­ics con­tin­ued well af­ter each ses­sion as del­e­gates de­bated the finer points.

Slot­ted into Day 1 was the pre­sen­ta­tion of en­gi­neer­ing awards and the MESNZ AGM. Bill Buck­ley was on hand, giv­ing del­e­gates a short up­date on the work of Buck­ley Sys­tems world­wide be­fore pre­sent­ing Ryan Ste­wart with the 2015 MESNZ Bill Buck­ley En­gi­neer­ing Schol­ar­ship.

2015 also saw the in­au­gu­ral re­vival of the Stu­art Tol­hurst Tro­phy for the ap­pren­tice of the year. Com­pe­tenz came on board to sup­port the tro­phy and were on hand to present Hawke’s Bays’ Mar­lene Harmer with the award. Spe­cial men­tion also went to co-fi­nal­ist Ben­jamin Pef­fer who pro­vided stiff com­pe­ti­tion for the fi­nal de­ci­sion.

The so­ci­ety AGM saw a num­ber of new hands com­ing on board with some in­cum­bents tak­ing back room roles. John Con­dron, Kevin In­gles and Ste­wart Hew­son were wel­comed on board to a team chaired by Barry Robin­son.

Mean­while, the in­ten­sity of pro­ceed­ings de­manded a light hearted break-out and in the tra­di­tion of NMEC, 2015 the team once again pro­vided mirth and mem­o­ries with the run­ning of the DEMM 100 trol­ley derby. Staged in the Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall, the event fea­tured spon­sored trol­leys pro­vided by MESNZ, Glenn Inksters’ Targa rally car, f lag girls, Rac­ing Ray Wil­liams and even a cameo re­turn from The Stig! The 13 teams had to assem­ble the trol­leys, dec­o­rate them and then race them in a se­ries of gru­elling chal­lenges. A great night of harm­less fun and a few bevvies was en­joyed by all be­fore head­ing into the fi­nal day’s pro­ceed­ings.

The pre­sen­ta­tions, dis­cus­sions and in­ter­ac­tion con­tin­ued at break­neck speed on Day 2 with del­e­gates split­ting their time be­tween the Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall and con­fer­ence Plenum. Then sud­denly, as quickly as it be­gan, the 2015 SKF Na­tional Main­te­nance Con­fer­ence was over and del­e­gates were head­ing for the door, prais­ing the event and vow­ing to re­turn to Claude­lands in Novem­ber 2016.

Demm 100 Trol­ley Derby.

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